Proposal contains no new taxes, provides near-level funding for every state agency
By Joseph M. Morgan
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Senate passed a lean $1.8 billion budget this week for the State General Fund (SGF), the budget for all non-education state spending. The Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) budget level-funds most state agencies, including state troopers and Corrections, and contains no tax increases.
“This is a tough but workable budget for the people of Alabama,” said Trip Pittman (R-Montrose), Chairman of the Senate General Fund Budget Committee. “It level-funds many state agencies, while increasing funds for Public Health and our National Guard units. I look forward to the House’s input and ideas on the budget.”
The FY17 budget increases by $2.5 million the funding for both Mental Health and the Department of Human Resources, and gives Public Health an additional $10 million over last year, on the heels of a tuberculosis outbreak in west Alabama.
The budget process began in January when legislators held in-depth hearings on each state department’s budget request, as part of a new zero-based budgeting approach, designed to carefully comb through the budget requests of every state agency.
“I want to commend Senator Pittman’s diligent work on getting the General Fund out on the 10th Legislative Day, one of the fastest in recent memory,” Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said. “Getting started on the budget process prior to the beginning of session no doubt helped everyone involved. I believe everybody in the Senate was eager to pass the General Fund in a timely manner to avoid a summer of special sessions.”
The House of Representatives will now take up the General Fund budget.